Believing Can Keep You Off the Naughty List!

It is that time of year that brings about the age old question:  Do you believe?  Do you have to be able to see something to believe that it is real?  Much like the spirit of Christmas, a DOL audit is very real and all should BELIEVE!

While you can’t see a Department of Labor (DOL) audit, you can believe that one could happen to any employer.  But employers can take some simple steps to stay on the “nice” list and avoid a DOL audit.  Employers can start by following the rules and regulations when dealing with employees, and secondly, they can be sure to have all of the appropriate documentation in place.

The second step is very important to avoiding the “naughty” list.  The Federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) mandates that employers/plan administrators of ERISA-covered plans provide a Summary Plan Description (SPD) to each participant and that plans be maintained in accordance with a written Plan Document.  The ERISA Wrap applies to virtually all employers who offer or sponsor benefits, regardless of number of participants.  Many employers mistakenly assume that insurance contracts, certificates of insurance, and benefits summaries fulfill the ERISA requirements for an SPD and Plan Document−but it isn’t enough.

To keep employers on the “nice” list, BASE® can provide the BASE® ERISA Wrap!  It is designed to help employers fulfill the ERISA requirements for an SPD and Plan Document.  From the first consultation to the implementation, BASE® provides and maintains all documentation to the employer for distribution to all eligible employers.

At Christmas if you’re naughty you get coal, but with the Department of Labor (DOL) it is much more serious – the employer will be fined $110 per-day, per employee not covered by the required or recommended provisions that protect the plan.

Despite what many employers believe, all businesses are at risk for an audit.  And seeing is believing for many, so when an employer finds themselves in an audit situation, they can believe they will avoid the costly fines of not being in compliance with an ERISA Wrap in place.

The DOL Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) had an increase in the amount of ERISA DOL fines from 2016 to 2017 by 72 PERCENT, resulting in over $1.1 BILLION in fines.  The DOL is taking it serious in their Strategic Plan for the upcoming year.  With more data being shared electronically, any audit will trigger an investigation into other areas of employer non-compliance.

This holiday season is the perfect time for businesses to get prepared and set up properly for a profitable and compliant year.  Call BASE® at 1-888-386-9680 or visit the website

Gift of the Flexible Spending Account

We all know that the holidays can be a stressful time of the year. This can be due to the financial strain of gifts, travel, holiday parties and food!  While we all love to decorate for the holidays with trees, lights and wreaths…this can all add up and cause a lot of end-of-year worry!

While the BASE® Flexible Spending Account can’t be used for holiday spending, it can allow someone to be healthier and happier.  The FSA can truly be seen as a gift during the holiday season.

Below are just a few suggestions to make for a merry December when using an FSA for out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Flu Shot - The holidays often find us surrounded by family and friends, which means an increased chance of becoming sick! Individuals should enjoy the holidays and reduce chances of becoming ill by getting a flu shot!

Annual Doctor Check-Up – Winter is the perfect time of year to get an annual checkup! Visiting a doctor and setting goals for 2019 help to prepare for the upcoming year and start it off on the right track.

Glasses – There are so many things to see during the holiday season such as Christmas trees, lights and much more. New glasses would only help enhance the experience and joy of the season!

Crutches – Winter brings slippery sidewalks or tripping over toys, which might lead to a need for an unwanted gift of crutches!

Dental Treatment – Too many sweets can lead to an emergency trip to the dentist!

The FSA covers many other medical expenses to help prevent and prepare for the months to come!  With an FSA, employees save tax dollars throughout the year by setting aside money from their paycheck on a pre-tax basis. They can then use this money on qualifying out-of-pocket expenses, like the ones listed above.

Leah L., a BASE® 125 FSA Client, shares the biggest benefits the FSA provides her and her employees. “Not only do our employees save when funds are transferred from their wages on a pre-tax basis, but our company also sees valuable tax savings. Not everyone is great at saving for a rainy day, but this has helped many of our employees be able to save for medical expenses, both expected and unexpected.”

The BASE® FSA is definitely a gift that will keep on giving all year round. Contact BASE® to learn more about the savings employers and employees receive with a BASE® 125 FSA in place.